Archive Mastering uses a mix of the finest analog and digital equipment, meticulously chosen, modified and custom built to allow us to do our best work on the widest variety of material.
Our primary signal chain is built around hands-on analog mastering tools, and it starts and ends with our completely custom analog mastering console. Designed and built in-house, the console features a completely passive design, with the audio passing through only mil-spec rotary switches and ultra-low capacitance wiring for absolute sonic neutrality. The console enables source and processing path switching, and a passive stepped monitoring section feeds our ATC speaker system.
Vacuum tube and Class A discrete equalizers and compressors are patched point-to-point with custom cabling for the shortest possible signal path (no patchbays or unnecessary connections).
Hi-end digital hardware and software tools can be inserted as needed or completely bypassed, and conversion is handled by a Merging Technologies HAPI running 8 channels of AD and DA with DSD.
We place great emphasis on maintaining immaculate analog tape playback capabilities for the thriving community of analog recording enthusiasts, with a custom Mike Spitz / ATR Services ATR-102 transport feeding both stock and modified transformerless repro amplifiers.
We also embrace DSD as a mixdown format, and are one of only a handful of mastering studios anywhere equipped to play back DSD mixes directly into the analog mastering chain.
The 1200 sqft studio building is a former sailboat builder's workshop, its rustic shell now housing extensive technical infrastructure for the large mastering room and machine room, a client lounge, and two private analog tracking rooms. All rooms are mechanically isolated on their own concrete slabs, and designed from the ground up for accurate acoustics.
Analog and Digital Playback
ATR Service/Mike Spitz custom Ampex ATR-102 with:
- 1/2 inch Flux Magnetics Mastering Series headstack
- 1/4 inch Flux Magnetics Mastering Series headstack
- choice of stock output, or custom transformerless output
- Dolby 363 SR/A
Virtually any digital audio file format (including DSD) via Merging HAPI DACs
Project Debut III turntable w/ custom phono preamp
Analog and Digital Processing
Buzz Audio REQ-2.2ME equalizer (LF mod)
Manley Variable Mu compressor (mastering version)
Maselec MLA-3 compressor
Maselec MPL-2 peak and HF limiter
Weiss EQ1 MK2 DYN-LP equalizer
Weiss DS1 MK3 compressor / de-esser
Waves L2 limiter (hardware)
Merging HAPI (8 ch AD/DA + DSD)
Merging HEPTA SRC
Editing and Production
Merging Pyramix 9.1
Apple MFiT tools
ATC SCM150ASL Pro loudspeakers
Acoustically neutral room with frequency response to 18Hz
Dedicated transformer isolated electrical service
Isolated star ground audio electrical distribution w/ oversize wiring throughout